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The Mother (La-Mulana)

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The Mother

The Mother

In the 2005 2D side-scrolling platform game La-Mulana, the ruins of La-Mulana surround the mystery of a power that supposedly created all life. This force is named "The Mother", the enigmatic mother goddess. It is written that the efforts of all children she brought to life followed her wish to return her to her home within the heavens.

What makes her a villain is that she does not value her children beyond their qualities which might allow them to give her flight. She works these children to death for her lofty goals or punishes them into extinction when they do not answer her pleas.

Origin and Mythology

Many life-giving goddesses have shared a similar form and remained with rather consistent symbolism and importance in cultures. This concept is a necessary chord through all mythology and none but goddesses fill this role outside of monotheistic religion.

It is very likely that Nigoro (the creators of La-Mulana) based the Mother on unestablished mythology called Proto-Indo-European that interprets a prehistory of mythology in Western Asia and Europe from archaeological findings. Many life-giving goddesses followed the Snake or Bird, both which have been alleged to be the main animal symbols of this prehistory goddess.

We can infer that this goddess is a concept gathered from the author Marija Gambutas, who proposes that there was once a matriarchy in the Proto-Indo time period. The basis of much of Nigoro's work in La-Mulana is on niche mythology and superstition and it can be suspected that they would reference such an obscure concept in order to get a Mother who represents the origin of all religion.

This link referencing Gambutas' work provides evidence. There is a statue of the Mother Goddess that shows her form as both bird and snake with lines upon her body. Birds and snakes are symbolic of hibernation and regeneration, which could be applied to the Mother's state throughout the game's storyline. It is further explained that this culture allowed the lines between humans and animals to be blurred - this being in accordance with the Mother creating various generations of non-human lifeforms. Her representation of birds is for the desire to fly (a wish to go to the heavens) and here is the explanation of those lines.

"What about the lines that mark her body? Referring to hundreds of pouring vessels marked with similar lines, Gimbutas concluded that these are “water lines,” reminiscent of the flowing of rivers and the pouring of water from vessels."

Filling a vessel is one of the essential parts to awakening the Mother in La-Mulana.


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